Michael Cohen Says Trump Knew About 2016 Trump Tower Meeting With Russians

Former Trump lawyer and "fixer" Michael Cohen is reportedly ready to tell investigators that the President is lying about his knowledge regarding the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer.

CNN dropped a report last night that, if true, could be a huge development in the ongoing Russia investigation, specifically it is being reported that former Trump attorney and “fixer” Michael Cohen is prepared to say that the President knew in advance about a June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who, at least initially, was being represented as having information on Hillary Clinton:

Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.

Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017.

Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources.

To be clear, these sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.

Cohen privately testified last year to two Congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. A source familiar with Cohen’s House testimony said he did not testify that Trump had advance knowledge. Cohen’s claims weren’t mentioned in separate reports issued by Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

Contacted by CNN, one of Cohen’s attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment.

“He’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years,” said Rudy Giuliani, the President’s attorney, to Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time” on Thursday night.

He added, “I don’t see how he’s got any credibility.”

Giuliani also said Cohen is “the kind of witness that can really destroy your whole case” and called Cohen, who was a top Trump Organization attorney for a decade, a “pathological liar.”

“Donald Trump Jr. has been professional and responsible throughout the Mueller and Congressional investigations,” said Alan Futerfas, an attorney for Donald Trump Jr. “We are very confident of the accuracy and reliability of the information that has been provided by Mr. Trump, Jr., and on his behalf.”

According to people who have discussed the matter with Cohen, he has expressed hope that this claim about the Trump Tower meeting will help him reach out to Mueller and possibly lessen his legal troubles. He’s under scrutiny by federal prosecutors in Manhattan after Mueller referred Cohen’s case to them.

After news of the meeting broke in July 2017, the Trump team offered misleading explanations and changed their story several times. But one claim stayed consistent: that Trump had no knowledge of the meeting beforehand, wasn’t told about it afterward and first learned about it one year later.

Those denials were repeatedly issued by Trump, his attorney Jay Sekulow, Trump Jr., Futerfas and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. Those people denied that Trump had contemporaneous knowledge of the meeting on more than 15 occasions, according to CNN’s analysis.

Trump said on July 12, 2017, that he “only heard about it two or three days ago.” One week later, Trump repeated that he “didn’t know anything about the meeting” because “nobody told me” about it.

Around that same time, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Sekulow to confirm Trump’s claims that he only recently learned about the controversial meeting. Sekulow’s response: “Yes, I swear.”

But perhaps the highest-stakes denial was given by Trump Jr. in his testimony last year to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“He wasn’t aware of it,” Trump Jr. told lawmakers, referring to his father’s knowledge of the meeting. “And, frankly, by the time anyone was aware of it, which was summer of this year, as I stated earlier, I wouldn’t have wanted to get him involved in it because it had nothing to do with him.”

Not surprisingly, the President is denying these reports in a string of tweets this morning:

This story began just a little more than a year ago when The New York Times first reported about a meeting in June 2016 that included Donald Trump Jt., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager at the time, and a Russian lawyer named Natalia  Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney who had previously been linked to the Russian government and who has since admitted to being an informant for the Russian Government. The meeting was scheduled after Trump Jr. and others in the campaign were told that  Veselnitskaya had access to damaging information about Hillary Clinton. This was confirmed in a string of emails that Trump Jr. released in the days after the meeting that made it clear that the purported purpose for scheduling the meeting was the claim that the Kremlin-linked lawyer had damaging information about Hillary Clinton. In one of those emails, Trump Jr. responded “That’s great” when informed that the lawyer had access to damaging information about Clinton and the Democrats. Later, Veselnitskaya said in interviews that Trump Jr. offered a quid pro quo in exchange for information about Clinton.

When the meeting was first reported, though, both Trump Jr. and the White House claimed that the meeting’s purpose was to discuss issues such as the adoption of Russian orphans by Americans as well as sanctions imposed by Russia in the wake of its seizure of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine. That claim was made most prominently in a statement released by the White House while the President was returning from a visit to Europe. It soon became apparent, though, that this claim was false. This is significant because we learned soon after news of the meeting broke that the President himself participated in drafting that initial statement on the way home from a trip to Europe on Air Force One. On its surface, that statement seemed questionable since it didn’t make sense that three of Trump’s closest campaign advisers would take a meeting on such an esoteric topic. The fact that we now know it was false makes the President’s involvement in what may constitute an attempted cover-up extremely significant.

There were also questions raised about the meeting and the subsequent effort to apparently cover-up the initial purpose for scheduling it raised by Trump Jr.’s closed-door testimony before Senate Intelligence Committee, testimony which raised more questions than it answers. For example, the President’s oldest son stated that he could not recall if he ever communicated with his father regarding the Trump Tower meeting. However, phone records apparently show that Trump Jr. spoke at length to someone on a blocked number both immediately and immediately following the meeting. It is well-known that Trump Sr. typically uses a phone with a blocked number for privacy reasons so this raises the rather obvious questions of who, other than his father, Trump Jr. would have been talking to so close to the meeting itself. Additionally, it’s been widely reported that Trump Jr. was in frequent contact with his father regarding what was going on during the campaign and that it would have been unusual for him to not discuss a matter such as this meeting with his father either before or after it took place. This is especially notable given the fact that, in a speech just days before the meeting, Trump said in a stump speech that there would be some damaging information about Clinton released within days.

What all this means for the overall Russia investigation is hard to say. In and of itself, Cohen’s uncorroborated testimony regarding what Trump may or may not have known doesn’t necessarily amount to much, but along with everything else that we’ve seen regarding this meeting, including most recently the release of a report on that meeting released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, it does lead to several interesting conclusions and potentially points to significant evidence that could implicate Trump directly in a cover-up. First, it tells us that the Trump campaign was so eager to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton that it was willing to send three of its senior representatives, including the Campaign Manager, the President’s son, and the President’s son-in-law to meet with a lawyer with connections to the Russian government. Taking that into account along with evidence showing that other people involved in the campaign such as Carter Page and George Papadopoulos had contacts with Russian officials regarding allegedly damaging information about Trump’s General Election opponent. Second, it suggests that Russian officials and people linked to the Russian government were aware of the Trump’s campaign interest in such material and used that to get access to the inner workings of the campaign on a level that would be unusual for a foreign government. Finally, the testimony that Cohen is reportedly prepared to deliver potentially demonstrates that Trump Sr. has been lying about his knowledge regarding the June 2016 meeting and that Trump Jr. may have lied to Congressional staffers regarding his discussions with his father about the meeting.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2018, Law and the Courts, National Security, Russia, US Politics, , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    “Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?).”

    Keep tweeting your deep thoughts Mr President….

    5
  2. JohnSF says:

    And Allen Weisselberg, Trump Org CFO, has been subpoenaed.
    Looks like the train is coming up to full speed.

    10
  3. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today in “No Sh!t” news….

    5
  4. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Dennison’s campaign had 82 contacts with Russian operatives.
    But there was no conspiracy to defraud the United States.
    If Republicans had any principles Donnie Jr. would already be up on perjury charges.

    14
  5. CSK says:

    The moment I heard that this meeting was purported to have been about the Magnitsky Act, I thought, “What? Do any of the Trumps even know what that is?”

    I wonder who came up with that excuse?

    And, for whatever Steve Bannon’s word is worth, didn’t he corroborate to Michael Wolff that Trump knew about this meeting–that Don Jr. took the Russians upstairs to meet Trump?

    11
  6. Facebones says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    If Republicans had any principles Donnie Jr. would already be up on perjury charges.

    Now that’s not fair! Republicans have plenty of principles!

    1) Tax Cuts for millionaires
    2) Screw the poor, women and minorities
    3) Appoint judges who think the Handmaid’s Tale is a wish fulfillment fantasy

    11
  7. CSK says:

    @JohnSF:

    Alan Futerfas, another member of Trump’s crack legal team, said that Weisselberg was “only a bookkeeper,” which should thrill Weisselberg.

    Weisselberg also didn’t know that he was listed as the treasurer of the Trump Foundation.

    7
  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Dennison’s campaign had 82 known contacts with Russian operatives.

    FTFY, you’ll get my bill in the mail.

    4
  9. Kathy says:

    There are some things to keep in mind:

    1) The most common witnesses to criminal activities are criminals themselves. That’s because law-abiding people don’t often get involved in criminal conspiracies.

    2) Criminals lack credibility (also, fire is hot). Therefore the mere word of Cohen is not enough.

    3) If he names the other people he claim also witnessed when el Cheeto was informed of the meeting, then Mueller can question them and obtain corroboration. This is not an easy task.

    4) So many lies concerning Russia and Russian interference in the election have been exposed, that the safe default position whenever anyone in Trump’s camp says anything about these things, is to assume they are lying

    5) Cohen is very likely the liar and scumbag Giuliani is portraying him to be. But Giuliani’s boss drew this man into his organization and trusted him with delicate matters for years. This says more about the lying and general scuzzy character of Trump, and makes one wonder about Giuliani as well.

    15
  10. Hal_10000 says:

    @Kathy:

    Quit being so fair-minded! 🙂

    7
  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: #6: Mueller has talked to so many turncoats and incompetents and gotten his hands on so many incriminating documents that the only safe way for a trump associated individual to respond to a subpoena is with the complete and unvarnished truth and the physical evidence to back it up.

    Makes #3 a whole lot easier.

    4
  12. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:
    My general approach to all of this; Mueller is at least 6-8 weeks ahead of anything we find out thru the press, if not more, and he knows about plenty of stuff that we are not finding out about.
    In any case…Sam Nunberg, Roger Stones right hand guy, has already said Dennison knew about the meeting…and he has already been interviewed by Mueller. Bannon is also on the record as saying Dennison knew…and he has also met with Mueller.
    Lastly…the idea that Donnie Jr. set up this meeting without telling his father, who is a control freak, doesn’t pass the giggle test. As I understand the timeline…Jr. got the email about the meeting, called a “blocked” number, then responded affirmatively to the email. You can bet your sweet bippy that Mueller knows who that blocked number is.

    14
  13. gVOR08 says:

    “He’s been lying all week, he’s been lying for years,” said Rudy Giuliani, ….

    He added, “I don’t see how he’s got any credibility.”

    Gawd that’s funny. No grasp of even the concept of self-awareness.

    7
  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    Stop and think about this, folks…
    If Cohen is stating the truth (and circumstantial evidence supports this view) then we have a POTUS that aided and abetted an attack on our Republic. Republicans in Congress are actively protecting him; the very same Republicans who held 8 investigations into Benghazi because Clinton didn’t pick up the phone fast enough.
    We are now in the midst of a national security crisis.
    Just think about that…

    14
  15. CSK says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Gee whiz, didn’t Trump institute tariffs to take care of our national security crisis?

    3
  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:
  17. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    We are now in the midst of a national security crisis.
    Just think about that…

    To quote Bill Clinton: “It’s the economy.”

    The thing is the Russian attack seems abstract to many, if not most, people. It wasn’t an attack with weapons or explosives, no one died, there are no massive casualties. Server hacks happen all the time, and this one didn’t involve stolen credit card numbers or bank passwords.

    I’m not trying to downplay the attacks, but explaining why large masses of people are not outraged.

    So as long as the economy is growing, you won’t get mush of a rise out of the Cheeto’s supporters, or even his enablers who hate his guts.

    the economy actually did quite well on the last quarter, and you can bet on Mangolini to tweet the hell out of that tidbit, and use it to justify his tariffs, even though any thinking person knows effects from the tariffs are building up and couldn’t have affected the last quarter.

    I don’t wish a recession on anyone, but El Trumpo seems hell bent on imposing one. When that happens, and it can still be avoided if sanity is allowed back into policy, then he’ll lose support.

    For his enablers there’s a somewhat different calculation. They think being critical of Trump menas losing in the primaries or the midterm elections. They may win the primaries, but the election is less certain. Hand them a big enough loss, and they won’t have a reason to keep feigning support. In fact, hand them a big enough loss and they won’t matter, as they won’t be in a position of any power.

    6
  18. Mr. Prosser says:

    @gVOR08: Interesting point I read at LGM (I think), if Cohen has been lying for years then everything he said in favor of trump is untrue.

    5
  19. Yank says:

    @Kathy: This is completely wrong. Trump’s approval ratings are awful given the state of the economy. The Russia stuff hurts him and every time something bad comes out about it, his approval ratings go down.

    4
  20. Yank says:

    And, for whatever Steve Bannon’s word is worth, didn’t he corroborate to Michael Wolff that Trump knew about this meeting–that Don Jr. took the Russians upstairs to meet Trump?

    You don’t even need anyone’s word on this, all you have to do is use common sense. Trump is a micromanager, so the idea that he wouldn’t know about this meeting has always been nonsense given his history.

    A lot of smart people have been doing mental gymnastics on why Trump wouldn’t know about this and it has been laughable. If they can’t see the forest for the trees, then they would better serve just sitting this discussion out.

    4
  21. MarkedMan says:

    The fact that Trump is lying makes no difference to his followers. People who self-identify as Republicans don’t “believe” things, they “embrace” them. True, False, Believable, Unbelievable, none of that matters. The only thing that matters here is a) if can Mueller use it, and b) if he uses it will that make a difference?

    There are actually a couple of things that might hurt Trump more. The first is that it seems that Don Trump Jr’s new girlfriend, got forced out of Fox News for, among other things, sharing pictures of Jr’s junk with coworkers, whether said coworkers wanted to see it or not. The second is what will happen if the Dems do really well in the midterms. You can bet that all of those suddenly unemployed Reps, Senators, Governors, State level people will be blaming Donny for their losses. For his whole life, he ends up with no supporters among those that have relied on him. At best, they are trapped in codependence. But the vast majority would be willing to stick a knife in him at the first opportunity.

    Trump has lived his life the exact same way for decades. He gets involved in something and initially people are swept up by the bravado and big talk. But his phoniness, his constant scheming to take advantage of everyone involved with him, his feelings of inadequacy that compels him to incessantly try to get everyone else at each others throats, all of this inevitably results in his partners getting sick of him and just wanting him out of their lives. They often accept a financial loss just so they don’t have to deal with his bloviating spew of BS anymore and Trump counts that as a victory. He’s lost partners and access, but picked up a few hundred thousand so that’s worth it in his two-bit mind. For a few months he goes to his golf courses and brags to gullible oafs and then he fixates on some new penny-ante con such as Trump University, or Trump branded golf course condos (that have a 40% chance of going bankrupt with all the buyers hefty deposits gone and not so much as a shovel of earth turned and, of course, he later denies having anything to do with beyond licensing his name), etc. He collects a new bunch of rich patsies and starts over again.

    But he can’t do that now. He is so far past his normal walk-away date and he cannot think of any way to leave. I think he is becoming desperate.

    3
  22. Joe says:

    Sorry, Yank, I am totally siding with Kathy‘s analysis here. Outside of people like us who read and write in blogs like these, its all noise they don’t hear as long as the economy is functioning up to their expectations.

    1
  23. Michael Reynolds says:

    Remember when looking at polls that intensity of support counts, as well as the raw support/oppose numbers. The 52% that disapprove tend to disapprove very strongly. The 41% who approve of Trump are far less enthusiastic. Enthusiasm drives turnout, and if Dems turn out they win.

    Also: right now the polls are Trump vs. X and to a lot of people it’s still Trump vs. Hillary, and they are hopelessly brainwashed to hate Hillary. But eventually it becomes Trump vs. Kamala Harris or Joe Biden or Deval Patrick, etc… That changes the math for those unable to cast politics as anything but a sort of sport. You can be a die-hard Mets fan and hate the Yankees, but would you still be a die-hard Mets fan if the Yankees moved to Toledo? People make choices between A and B, not between A and X.

    Right now predictit.com has Dem takeover of the house at 65 cents and a Senate takeover at 31 cents. I think that’s about right.

    But Mueller is a ‘comin, and so is the emoluments case, and the Avenatti case(s), and that soft 41% for Trump will be confronted by major, convincing and damning evidence that Trump conspired with an enemy power to steal the 2016 election. That will soften the 41% still further.

    5
  24. Yank says:

    @Joe: If this were true then why are Trump’s approval ratings so poor?

    2
  25. MarkedMan says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    But eventually it becomes Trump vs. Kamala Harris or Joe Biden or Deval Patrick, etc… That changes the math for those unable to cast politics as anything but a sort of sport.

    I hope you are right Michael, but I fear that whoever the Dem nominee is, the Repub Slime Machine will soon have him/her teed up as the next big bad, turning their strengths and good points into negatives until, for example, Cory Booker literally saving a child from a burning building (It happened!) is just another snarky meme for the Maureen Dowd crew.

    3
  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Joe: @Yank: @Kathy:

    I don’t think there’s much conflict in POV’s here. The economy clearly bolsters Trump. The interesting thing is that with this economy he’s still stuck with a soft 41-42%, under his 46% election total. Any normal candidate would be well north of 50%. In general I think Trump takes a 10-15% hit just for being a flaming a-hole. It’s the Trump Penalty.

    We need to notice the dog that did not bark, if I may steal from Conan Doyle. The telling thing is not what we see, but what we don’t see. 18 months of steady economic growth and relative peace and Trump has added zero supporters. That is the fact that’d scare me if I were trying to get the ass-clown re-elected. Amidst all the talk about how solid Trump’s support is, his opposition is just as steady and more enthusiastic. A so-so 41% vs. a fired-up 52%? In an economic boom? Those are lousy numbers for Trump.

    1
  27. Michael Reynolds says:

    Hey, mods? Queue rescue por favor?

  28. Yank says:

    I don’t think there’s much conflict in POV’s here. The economy clearly bolsters Trump. The interesting thing is that with this economy he’s still stuck with a soft 41-42%, under his 46% election total. Any normal candidate would be well north of 50%. In general I think Trump takes a 10-15% hit just for being a flaming a-hole. It’s the Trump Penalty.

    But this would explain his crappy favorabilities, not his job approval. You can be thought of as an unlikeable person and still get good approval ratings (Bill Clinton in 2000 is the perfect example of this. His favorabilities were well below his high job approval).

    I think it is more then just people thinking Trump is a jackass. I think the Russia stuff is hurting him, as well as people just thinking he isn’t very good at his job.

    2
  29. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Kathy: I pretty much agree with your analysis too. My instinct to this news was caution. Cohen is a sleaze bag who thinks he’s honorable. His testimony is something, but not everything. When it’s one sleaze bag’s word against another’s, few people will be swayed.

    There is some complicated dance playing out in the SDNY prosecution of Cohen, which is arms-length from Mueller. Just what it is is opaque to me. Are they navigating the shoals of blanket pardons? It appears the Stormy Daniels case gave them a reason to get a search warrant, and this other stuff might have been the goal.

    If that’s true, just how much of this was forseen by Daniels and her team? Was her decision to sue and tell her story in the media a random happenstance, or a strategic act?

    There are aspects of this that fascinate me.

    3
  30. Steve V says:

    Two days before the meeting he bragged about revealing dirt on Hillary a week later. How could he have done that if he didn’t know about the meeting? Of course he knew and approved. I keenly remember this brag by Trump, because I was curious to see what the dirt was.

    5
  31. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    There are going to be some fascinating books written about all this.

  32. teve tory says:

    Rudy G May 6, on Michael Cohen:

    ‘The man is an honest, honorable lawyer.”

    Rudy G now:

    “He has lied all his life… a person who is found to be an incredible liar, he’s got a tremendous motive to lie now… I don’t think anyone believes that.”

    Trump supporters humiliate themselves. For nothing.

    5
  33. teve tory says:

    Trump’s personnel choices have obvious downsides, but they have allowed him to use the “you can’t trust these lying numbskulls I surround myself with” defense

    -josh barro

    3
  34. teve tory says:

    A so-so 41% vs. a fired-up 52%? In an economic boom? Those are lousy numbers for Trump.

    What should scare Trump is this fact from wikipedia:

    From 1945 to 2001, and 10 cycles, recessions lasted an average 10 months and expansions an average of 57 months.

    We’ve been in an expansion for like 100 months now. We are way overdue for a downturn.

    And then there’s this:

    Trump should be terrified right now. As Trump biographer Timothy O’Brien notes, no one knows more about Trump’s financial and business dealings than Weisselberg.

    Weisselberg isn’t a bit player in Trumplandia and his emergence on the Cohen-Trump recording – as someone possibly facilitating a scheme apparently meant to disguise a payoff – should worry the president. Weisselberg has detailed information about the Trump Organization’s operations, business deals and finances. If he winds up in investigators’ crosshairs for secreting payoffs, he could potentially provide much more damaging information to prosecutors than Cohen ever could about the president’s dealmaking…

    Weisselberg, on the other hand, has worked for the Trump family since the 1970s, and knows more about the Trump Organization’s history and finances than nearly anyone. Almost 71 years old, he joined the company after graduating from college and worked for the president’s father, Fred, as an accountant…
    Over the years, Weisselberg’s professional duties also came to include handling Trump’s personal finances as well as the Trump Organization’s corporate finances.

    Weisselberg is far more dangerous to Trump than Cohen could dream of being. If Cohen knows where the bodies are buried, Weisselberg was probably the one who made the burial necessary, or knows who is. Trump has to be terrified right now. If he isn’t, he’s a fool. Look for his attacks on Mueller to get even more extreme and unhinged because that’s the only way he knows to respond to fear.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2018/07/27/mueller-subpoenas-trumps-chief-financial-officer/

  35. the Q says:

    Let’s see a lying President presiding over a booming economy and 80% approval by his supporters….and the opponents of this President going apeschite over the dumb voters who are only interested in their paychecks while overlooking the total embarrassment of his actions..,

    Geez, is this 1998 or now? For you see neolibs, your ridiculous defense of Clinton’s horrific behavior which should have lead to him resigning in disgrace and letting Al Gore have the reins for 2 years before the 2000 election, is the template that the Trump supporters are using now, much to your chagrin. Even Bill himself admitted as much a few weeks ago on his Today Show comment regarding Monica-gate “This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me. “…….need I say more?

    Neolibs coming back and retorting they are not the same thing (which they are) in 5…4…3….2

  36. Kathy says:

    @Yank:

    Given how much damage Trump is purposefully doing to America’s institutions, to america’s alliances, and to the international order, his approval ought to be much lower.

    Few people care about such things, though, and, as with the Russian attacks, the effects are delayed and the damage seems abstract. So a big portion of Republicans and a respectable one of independents, won’t disapprove of El Cheeto until the economy goes down. That’s a sure kill for every administration. That’s when we’ll see his job approval ratings hitting the low 30s or high 20s.

    1
  37. MarkedMan says:

    So… is “The Q” a Pearce sock puppet?

    1
  38. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    When it’s one sleaze bag’s word against another’s, few people will be swayed.

    True, but many people will assume the worst, too, so that part isn’t good for Trump. Trump’s lawyers may not just be able to get away with asking “what? you’re gonna believe that sleaze bag?” They have to show some malice or ill will or motive for throwing Trump under the bus, otherwise the answer from the jury may be “why not?”

  39. Tyrell says:

    I did not know that audio tape systems were still in use. I remember a time when the use of magnetic audio tapes were not allowed in court as legal evidence. It is too easy to make convincing fakes by the use of editing and splicing as proven by motion picture companies in their productions.
    The fact that Mueller is trying to use these as evidence is a further example of how he is operating. This in itself is concerning and worrisome to anyone who values their privacy.
    How can we be certain our phones are not tapped or microphones placed everywhere to record our conversations?

    In summary, each day seems to bring more actions by Mueller that are curtailing our privacy and security. I don’t know why Congress does not at least put some controls and monitoring on Mueller. Maybe they are afraid he has stuff on them.
    This is certainly brings images of “1984”.

  40. Bob@youngstown says:

    @Tyrell:
    Has anyone seen Tyrell’s tin hat, seems he misplaced it.

    7
  41. Jax says:

    @Tyrell: I hate to break it to you, bud, but you are already under surveillance anytime you step outside your house. Get gas? The gas station has video, possibly audio. Grocery store? You are on camera. Library? You are on camera. Even little towns have traffic cameras on major intersections, and sometimes live streamed webcams. Even cops have body cameras. Every single thing you do can be tracked, right down to your clicks on this website, and every other thing you look at on the internet.

    This is not “Mueller operating”. This is Standard Operating Procedure for Trump and most of the business/government world. Cohen made the tapes, not Mueller. Will they be evidence? Maybe. It’s no different from the video/audio cops use from crime scenes to arrest criminals.

    3
  42. Yank says:

    Given how much damage Trump is purposefully doing to America’s institutions, to america’s alliances, and to the international order, his approval ought to be much lower.

    Few people care about such things, though, and, as with the Russian attacks, the effects are delayed and the damage seems abstract. So a big portion of Republicans and a respectable one of independents, won’t disapprove of El Cheeto until the economy goes down. That’s a sure kill for every administration. That’s when we’ll see his job approval ratings hitting the low 30s or high 20s

    The thing is independents have already left Trump. He is pretty much down to his base and has been for the last several months. People have lowered the bar so much for Trump that they don’t realize how historically unpopular he already is.

    3
  43. Matt says:

    @MarkedMan: Q is super obsessed with complaining about the Clintons and “neolibs” whenever he can so I don’t really think it’s pierce’s sock puppet. Different obsessions going on here.

    3
  44. The Q says:

    @Matt:

    My point missed by all is Clinton lied and got away with it because the economy was booming as he himstlf referenced the 2/3rds support which outweighed his lies. Trump supporters feel the same way yet you high horse Clinton slurpers criticize their support while justifying your same unethical support of a cheater and perjurer.

    Trump’s a buffoon and an embarrassment and so are must of you who condescendly decry Trump supporters for overlooking his lies because the economy is good. That’s my point you hypocrites.

  45. Richard DeMent says:

    @The Q:

    My point missed by all is Clinton lied and got away with it because the economy was booming as he himself referenced the 2/3rds support which outweighed his lies.

    If Clinton had sided with the Russians to hack the election then no I don’t think people would have supported him no matter what the economy was doing. People gave him a pass because he lied about a consensual affair that a lot of people felt was between him and his wife. The only people who were upset with Clinton were the values voters who are now supporting Trump.

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  46. Steve V says:

    @Richard DeMent: I’m old enough to remember when getting campaign contributions from China was considered a big problem. I wonder what would’ve happened if Clinton actually sided with Chinese?

  47. Matt says:

    @Richard DeMent: Looking back it’s kind of amazing to me how little people cared in my very very red home town when the whole Monica thing was going down. Only the preachers and the peal clutchers cared about the affair. The rest would never vote Democratic or for Clinton but they would make jokes about it. An even smaller subsection of that group would basically say “good for him” and then move on.

    I imagine some of the woman might of had some sympathy for Hillary at that time because they themselves were cheated on by their “loving good Christian husband”….

    Just a personal anecdote. Looking back it’s almost quaint how mild the right wing noise machine was back then.

    Q on the other hand is MAD MAD MAD that Clinton was NOT kicked out instantly and disowned by everyone. Pretty much every post he’s made on here includes something about a Clinton. It’s a full on obsession and it’s getting in the way of his message.